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Flood Elevation Program

The King County Flood Elevation Program helps property owners with the cost of raising the finished floor of their home.

Elevation projects are a good choice for homes repeatedly damaged by slow moving floodwaters that are not powerful enough to cause structural damage. This reduces the threat of future damage and preserves local housing. Most residents remain on the property throughout the construction of the home elevation project.

Watch this video to learn more about the Elevation Program.

Who is eligible for the Flood Elevation Program?

Homeowners located in a flood-prone area of King County may be eligible for help from the Flood Elevation Program. Currently funding is only available for home elevation projects in the Snoqualmie River Basin. The first floor of the home must be below the Base Flood Elevation as documented on a FEMA Elevation Certificate produce by a licensed surveyor.

There are usually more property owners interested in this program than funds available. King County maintains a list of property owners who want to participate in the program and will reach out to them as funds become available.

The elevation program is only for properties where the owner has agreed to take part in the program.  

Basic steps in elevating a building

  • Professionals disconnect all utilities.
  • A professional house mover is hired to disconnect the house from existing foundation, raise it up to new height, and provide a temporary foundation.
  • Temporarily reconnect the utilities so the house is livable while foundation work is done.
  • A temporary access staircase is built to meet the new height of the structure.
  • A new permanent foundation is constructed.
  • The house is lowered onto the new foundation and secured with anchor bolts.
  • Utilities are permanently reconnected.
  • A new permanent access staircase and landing are built.
    The brochure Elevating Structures to Reduce Flood Damages: Guidelines for Property Owners provides more detailed information on the home elevation process. 

How much does a home elevation project cost and where does the money come from?

The total cost of a home elevation can vary but recent projects have cost about $250,000. The King County Flood Control District has provided funding for home elevations since its formation in 2007. King County also relies on federal and state grant opportunities to fund the program. Small amounts of funding also come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

More funds can become available after a presidential disaster declaration, such as those that occurred because of the December 2006, January 2009, and February 2020 floods.  

What other programs are available to residents?

Listed below are programs to help you elevate your home. Note that most of these programs only become available after a major flood event.

Increased Cost of Compliance

Ask your insurance agent about "Increased Cost of Compliance" insurance coverage, which is included in all flood insurance policies.

This coverage allows payment of up to an additional $30,000 to cover compliance with local ordinances affecting repair or reconstruction involving elevation, floodproofing, relocation or demolition of a structure, after a direct loss caused by a flood. King County must determine your home has been substantially damaged (damages exceeding 50% of the value of the structure) and provide you with a letter verifying the damages.

Small Business Association loans

After a presidentially declared disaster, small business association (SBA) loans become available to qualified property owners. If you are approved for an SBA loan, you may be eligible for up to an additional 20 percent of your loan amount for use in hazard mitigation projects, such as home elevations. For more information, visit: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)